Keep constructive | Pittsburgh journal

II’m delighted to have someone from the Pittsburgh Today Live team appear on our feature about the best smile in town.

Aside from the fact that Heather Abraham has an undeniably winning smile, I’m glad she’s there because I can personally attest that her sunny disposition is real. When I spent more time with – or on a large video wall behind – the “PTL” team over the past year, I realized that the limitless enthusiasm they exude is the real thing. Abraham, David Highfield, Mikey Hood, Celina Pompeani and Ron Smiley are just as positive and enthusiastic of Pittsburgh behind the camera as they are every morning on your screen.

A positive outlook can take many forms. It can certainly be as simple as a bright smile, yes, but it can also be as profound as a life of community service. Gisele Fetterman, who is excellently presented by Cristina Rouvalis in this issue, never seems to stop investing her time and effort; an exhaustive list of their charitable and service endeavors would be, well, exhaustive. Still, she seems tirelessly positive and optimistic in her pursuit of a more equitable, welcoming community.

The challenges facing places like Braddock – still struggling areas where industry has left a city to decay – are considerable. But while it can be easy to become hopeless in the face of big problems, Fetterman just keeps working, one ministry at a time.

And when I put aside my sometimes grumpy appearance, I feel positive too. It’s no coincidence that I’ve added two Kennywood-related pieces of content to this issue (my column and our regular “On Location” feature). A couple of trips to the park were the most normal, joyful outings I’ve been on in nearly 18 months – a return to an iconic part of Pittsburgh that looked and felt the same as always.

Call it the unintended but very welcome topic of this issue: There are always reasons to be positive.

Sean can be reached at

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